Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Primeval.

Episode 77.
airdate: 16 May 2000.

Buffy can't find Riley because he's with Adam. Adam explains to Riley that he has a chip too and Adam has activated it. He seems to be relatively under Adam's physical control. He speaks when Adam tells him to speak and sits when Adam tells him to sit. I'm trying not to dislike Riley this time, I really am, and it's (mostly) working, but he is SUCH the mindless tool sometimes, man. Adam is telling Riley they're "brothers" and stuff. Giles is hungover. Willow goes to get her laptop at his place and it's all awkward. Buffy is home alone. She feels isolated from her BFFs and picks up the phone, but doesn't call anyone. Instead she starts packing weapons. Xander is moping in bed. Anya comforts him in the blunt tactless way she knows how.

Buffy is caving-it, alone, in search of Adam. She finds his lair. He's not there. He's in the Initiative with Riley. Walsh is a reanimated corpse. So is that other authority/scientist-dude that was close with Walsh. And Forrest is reanimated too, only he has verbal skills, unlike the other two. Buffy finds Spike in Adam's lair. I should start calling my house my lair. Sounds so cool. Forrest is talking about how being a modified corpse is the best thing that ever happened to him. Walsh injects Riley with something. It's all very cryptic. Everyone (Xander, Willow, Buffy, and Giles) meets on campus: neutral territory. It comes out that Spike is the one that told them all the stuff. "Well, piffle, let's all move on" says Giles, and they agree, but they're still fractured. Buffy realizes the whole plan of the Initiative/Adam, somehow.

Spike is still whining about the chip, but Adam's still stalling. The Feisty Four are back at Giles' trying to find a way to defeat Adam.

"So, all we need is combo-Buffy. Her, with Slayer-strength, Giles' multilingual-know-how and Willow's witchy power." says Xander. And that's the ticket! Xander saves the day, again! They're going to do an "adjoining spell". They infiltrate the Initiative by repelling, since they can't use the elevators anymore without Buffy's retinal passwords and shit. Gives Willow and Buffy time to talk things out. They make up. Then there's a suuuuuuuuuper cute hug with Buffy, Willow, and Xander. Spike is whining about the chip again. Adam isn't going to follow through after all, so Spike tries to run. Forrest tries to kill him. Buffy is trying to tell the Initiative authorities what's up, but they're being all territorial and dumb and they try to hold Buffy/Willow/Xander/Giles hostage, but Buffy kicks their asses instead. All locks in the Initiative have been disengaged by Adam, except the exits. "Demon open house" as Xander observes. They have to fight their way to a quiet place for Xander/Giles/Willow to do their spell and Buffy to get to Adam. The zombies attack Buffy as she realizes Riley is under their control. Riley is visibly trying to help Buffy. He eventually cuts the chip out of his shoulder. Fighting fighting fighting. Riley is helping Buffy after removing the chip. He kills the zombies as Buffy escapes to find Adam.

Buffy and Adam fight. Adam has an assault rifle arm. The spell takes effect. Buffy gets all yellow-eyed and awesome. Gives me chills. Buffy is all-Neo-ing it up now. It's soooooo freaking awesome! She bicycle kicks Adam and rips out his heart as her eyes turn red. "You cannot even begin to grasp the source of our power." So freaking rad, man! Spike is killing demons. Everyone is exhausted. Man, that was cool. You have to watch it. The symbolism of Buffy only being able to defeat Adam through the literal combination of her with her friends is just freakin' precious, as per usual.

Commentary (by David Fury and James Contner) notes added 5.12.13: So far just explaining major plot points, but this is the culmination of the season (for all intents and purposes, though "Restless" is the actual last episode of the season), so I will stick out the commentary for at least half the episode, but if they remain boring, I will cut them loose because my time is too valuable. That's a joke; my time being valuable, not that I'll skip out on this commentary if it bores me. I'll give it twelve minutes...they're still just explaining the plot and minor details of shooting. 30 seconds...will you interest me, David and James? Nope.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Yoko Factor.

Episode 76.
airdate: 9 May 2000.

Last three episodes of the season. Let's do this, kids!

Spike and Adam are still ally-ing. Spike is trying to convey to Adam that Buffy is seriously efficient at eliminating "big bad"s. Adam decides that if Spike helps dislocate Buffy's friends from her, he can more effectively eliminate her. So, Spike is the Yoko Factor. And he's good at it too.

Apparently, B is in L.A. visiting Angel for some reason. I think it has something to do with Faith. Giles is singing "Freebird". Hot. Spike shows up. He knows where "files" are in the Initiative. He nurtures a bit of animosity between Giles and Buffy with subtle wordplay. Tells him she treats Giles "like a retired librarian". Giles is boozing it up as Spike tells him this. Riley goes to see Buffy. She looks exhausted. She's back from L.A. too, btw, and keeping secrets. It's officially her thing now, and forevermore. Spike makes up some stuff about Xander joining the Army and the others talking about it, in order to get him to think they're talking about him behind his back. The way he does it is so crafty, too. I would believe him. Buffy and Riley's former BFF are both investigating a cave and fighting when they run into Adam. Buffy tries to get Riley-BFF to leave, but he doesn't and he gets skewered, of course.

Giles is still drinking. Spike is doing his Yoko mojo with Tara and Willow. Macbooks used to look so silly with the upside-down apple. Angel is in town. He runs into Riley. Jealousy crap. Fighting ensues. Buffy comes home after her fight with Adam and she's wounded. Angel goes to see her. Riley shows up moments later and more jealousy follows. Riley acts all protective. Angel is sweet, and jealous, which is impossibly sweet. "Oh, and Riley? I don't like him." Then he leaves.

Then Buffy says something a lot of people should say when there's jealousy involved: "Have I ever given you any reason not to trust me?" Riley says, "no". She replies, "Then why with the crazy?" She tells Riley that Forrest (Riley-BFF's NAME!) is dead. Everyone is together at Giles'. They start fighting a bunch after all the resentment Spike nurtured that has been growing all season. I love Giles' apartment. It's so cozy and studious. That's (almost) exactly how I would live if I was Giles. And of course I secretly wish to be Giles. Tara and Anya hide in the bathroom while everyone is fighting. Buffy yells and then she says mean, hurtful things and then storms out.

The last shot is Riley showing up in Adam's cave. Adam tells him he's been waiting for him.

To be continued...

I am an Aspergirl, Part Three.

What I meant yesterday when I said I don't understand how career, marriage, children is ever a fulfilling life, what I meant was: For me, I don't get that these are goals. I mean, I get how a career is a goal, but I don't get how children and marriage are goals. I never dreamed of my wedding until I was engaged. I couldn't imagine children as a goal unless I was already with my lifepartner and making the decision then. I guess what I mean is that these aren't givens to me like they seem to be for NTs (neurotypical people). I didn't want to belittle someone who has the wife/kid/career thing and loves it. I love my husband and I love my furbabies (two dogs, a cat and a ferret) and I love maintaining a home. But I didn't have husband as goal before the one that became mine was around for YEARS. And I realize this is different  than the way most people feel.

Also, I looked up stuff on schizotypal personality disorder today. It seems like it shares a lot of traits/aspects with Asperger's. Both are eccentric personalities. Schizophrenia is a continuum like everything else and apparently it goes:
*mild schizo = schizoid
*moderate schizo = schizotypal
*severe schizo = schizophrenia

Some things that don't fit (for me) about schizotypal are: onset in adulthood (I'm pretty sure anyone that's ever known me can attest that I've always been weird), magical thinking (I like fantasy worlds, but I don't believe in magical things or have superstitious behavior, unless I'm very distressed and even then I know I'm doing it just to make myself feel better, not as a result of a belief), and I don't think everything in the world is about me (I think they call that delusional ideation or something like that) and I don't think I have wrong perceptions. I do have odd thinking and eccentric appearance and rituals and I am a loner, but I'm pretty sure my ideations are pretty sane...just weird.

Anyway, it doesn't ultimately matter what I'm labeled. I don't care what it's called, only that I can use a word to better understand myself and accept where I am more readily. I don't think disorders are detriments. I think awareness/acceptance of ALL people should be more widespread. If I can throw the word Asperger at someone and they all of a sudden GET something about me, I want to be able to use that resource, for the same reason that I announced my engagement on Facebook. Because I like shorthand. Because I've always had trouble explaining myself and any vocabulary I can use to "compulsively disclose information", I fucking will!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: New Moon Rising.

Episode 75.
airdate: 2 May 2000.

Tara and Willow holding hands. Oz shows up out of the blue. He's only really been gone six months. Riley is close-minded about Willow dating a werewolf. "I never knew you were such a bigot!" Oz can now control when he's a wolf through meditation or something, 'cause it's a full moon and he's still Oz. He wants Willow back. It would be really hard to choose between Oz and Tara. I heart Oz so much, but Tara is such a sweety-pie. I like Willow and Tara together better. I'd like to keep Oz for myself and while we're living in an alternate universe I'd like Tara to not get shot in season six by Warren and her and Willow to be together forever.

Willow tells Buffy about Tara and Buffy reacts well. Willow doesn't know what she wants to do. She goes to see Tara after talking with Oz all night and tells her she doesn't know what to do and then Oz runs into Tara later and "smells" Willow on her. He turns into the wolf when he realizes Tara is a "threat" to him. The Initiative dudes tranquilize him and take him away to a cage in the Initiative. Riley almost kills wolf-Oz when he turns back into Oz. Adam's been talking to Spike. Promises him he'll get his chip out if he helps him with something or other. Help him kill Buffy probably...I wasn't paying attention to the specifics.

Poor Oz is naked and alone. Riley tries to get him out, but they stop him and lock him up too. Why the hell is he still hanging out with those dingbats? Some high-ranking officer says mean stuff about Buffy and basically gives him the choice to help them take her down and then his "good name" will be restored. He calls them "the Slayer and her band of freaks" and "anarchists". The freaks go to infiltrate the Initiative while Giles and Anya do some computer hacking from Giles' house. They realize when they get there they have to save Riley AND Oz. Riley says "If I leave now I can't ever come back." Buffy stares at him. "I just wanted to hear it out loud." So, finally, he's done with the dingbats! Woo hoo! This somehow means Riley and Buffy have to stay in the burned out high school. Buffy finally tells Riley about her past with Angel.

Willow and Oz need to talk now. He missed his chance. She tells him some part of her will always be waiting for him. Closure. She goes to Tara and there's suggested makeout, but you don't get to see it because it's the year 2000 and girls can't kiss onscreen yet. They won't get to until Joyce dies in season 5.

Monday, March 25, 2013

I am an Aspergirl, Part 2.

aka Seeking Diagnosis, part one.

Went to therapy today for the first time this year with the primary goal of validation for my recent self-diagnosis of Asperger's.

Therapist said, "That could fit, but I would assume more Schizoid or Schizotypal." I don't yet know the specifics of either of those, but I do know they're acquired in adulthood and I have always been the way I am now. I think. I feel like the same person I was in high school except that I am more critical of myself now, and less social. I used to talk on the phone. I used to hang out with people. But I could relate to my peers back when we were all weirdos. Now people my age are mostly normal/neurotypical and I'm still the same. "Eccentric". And I'm learning to tolerate the non-eccentricities of others. I used to think every "normal" person was stifling their personalities in order to fit into society, but I'm starting to realize that maybe they're not. Maybe just because you used to have purple hair and now you wear khakis doesn't mean you've "sold out". You "grew up". I didn't and I probably never will. I will still wear the trenchcoat and dye my hair purple. I don't know. I still don't understand how being married with children and a socially acceptable career can be a fulfilling life to anyone. I don't expect people to be like me, but I've always expected people to be unique. I am innately distrustful of "normalcy". I've always thought it was a front, even while knowing I'm NOT normal. I've always HATED it when people tell me I'm different or eccentric because they generally spit the distinction at me as if its a choice. As if I'm trying to get attention. It's not as if I don't know I'm different and eccentric. It's like telling someone that's 6'5" they're tall. Really, Captain Obvious?! So what I'm saying I hate is when people spit it at me, not when they say it with understanding...

There are so many things you can be. Among the things I am: feminist, atheist, Libra, INTJ, bisexual, Color Code: White with secondary Red, goth, hippie, possibly Aspergian....and on and on and on. There's always a continuum and a place we all fit within it. And it means whatever you want it to mean. But I want the clinical diagnosis. I really do. I don't care WHAT that clinical diagnosis is...but I want a signifier, desperately. Why?

I took their "pervasive developmental disorder scale" thing. We'll see in three weeks when I can afford to go again what the next step is...I really do think it's Asperger's.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Where the Wild Things Are.

episode 74.
airdate: 25 Apr 2000.

I know. I do NOT want to see a closeup of Riley and Buffy kissing either, but that's pretty much the entire episode. They do it, a LOT. Buffy is making up for lost time not being able to ever do it with Angel by doin' it like wayyyy too much with Riley. Doin' it so much that repressed children poltergeists in the walls of the frat house where Riley lives awaken and start making things all funky until a "red shoes"-thing (you know, you put on the red shoes so you can dance and then the red shoes make you dance forever, until you die from all the dancin') happens where they're stuck in a black hole of endless doin' it. So creepy. I don't really like this episode, but let's get it over with...

First sighting of Xander in his ice cream truck. Precious. I really don't know what to say about this episode. I guess I'm only 12 minutes in, so I should keep an open mind. First time of Anya and Spike drinking together; also...precious. Anya is lamenting the fact that her and Xander didn't have sex one night? And Spike is lamenting no longer being evil. There's a wall in the frat house that gives orgasms during a party.

Willow's good clothing time is over. She's wearing an oversized jacket with holly embroidered on the collar. Ew. Xander and Anya break up after having their first fight. Anya is overreacting because she's never been in a relationship before. Tara freaks out when Willow touches her on the knee. Some chick named Julie attacks Xander with her mouth and then runs away to the bathroom crying, "I'm bad. I'm bad." over and over while cutting her hair. Willow sees a ghost in another bathroom. They all decide to get Buffy, but her and Riley can't hear them and vines grow out of the door. They're in their doin' it loop. There's an earthquake. It's so relentless that they all have to leave with Buffy and Riley still trapped inside.

They go get Giles and he's singing at an open mic. Anya and Willow think it's sexy and Xander is horrified. They do research and go visit the warden of the children's home that the house used to be. She says all kinds of creepy stuff about helping the dirty kids get into the "kingdom of heaven". Giles points his finger at her and tells her whats what.

Xander sums it all up with three words:"big burstin' poltergasm."

Tara, Willow, and Giles do a spell while Anya and Xander hack down the vines overtaking the house. Xander almost drowns in the bathtub, but Anya saves him. The spell goes awry. Turns out the only thing that had to be done was for someone to interrupt them, which Anya and Xander do.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

I am an Aspergirl.

I've been holding off on this post because I've wanted to make it super intelligent and though-out and like an Aspergirl manifesta, but I'm just sick of waiting to form intelligent thought, perhaps it will come out naturally Grimes-Tumblr-style. It could happen.

So, a couple of weeks ago I took the Autism Quotient and scored a 35. A score of 32 and above most likely means you're on the Spectrum. The spectrum of Autism. As I scored in the lower area of Autism, that probably means Asperger's. I haven't sought a formal diagnosis (which I'm planning to talk to my therapist about that at my next appointment) yet, but this label is fitting me so comfortably, so perfectly, that I think a lack of formal diagnosis would piss me off. Because I SO am an Aspergirl.
Let's just get the definitions out of the way first...
Mayo Clinic defines Asperger's Syndrome as: a developmental disorder that affects a person's ability to socialize and communicate effectively with others. Children with Asperger's syndrome typically exhibit social awkwardness and an all-absorbing interest in specific topics.

Doctors group Asperger's syndrome with other conditions that are called autistic spectrum disorders or pervasive developmental disorders. These disorders all involve problems with social skills and communication. Asperger's syndrome is generally thought to be at the milder end of this spectrum.

While there's no cure for Asperger's syndrome, if your child has the condition treatment can help him or her learn how to interact more successfully in social situations.

Some of the symptoms (what I'd rather refer to as traits) that I exhibit include:
  • lack of eye contact and awkward body postures/positions
  • not understanding sarcasm: I never have. The first time my mom did it and explained the concept to me as a child I said, "I don't like that. Don't do that ever again."
  • poor coordination
  • mutism: being unable to speak in certain situations. For me, this is usually exhibited in one-on-one situations, especially if someone is asking me about myself.
  • can engage in monotonous tasks for hours on end: my favorite job ever was being a library page (shelving/checking in books). I love engaging in activities that occupy a background-space of my mind/body so that I can think about other things. My Valium is monotonous physical movement. If I'm sorting/shelving books, I'm calm. If I'm walking, I'm calm. If I'm dancing, I'm calm. If I'm typing, I'm probably ok too. This also goes along with stims (self-stimulating behaviors, like rocking, feet-shaking, weird, repetitive movements). I also can calm myself by touching certain textures. I like brushed aluminum, computer keys, warm metal, paper, etc.
  • repetitive routines/rituals: I fall apart without my routines. I almost can't sleep without watching Star Trek first. The soothing background noise on the Enterprise in The Next Generation calms me greatly.
  • eccentric personality/style: Have you seen me? Yeah.
  • strong sensory sensitivity: I find this to be the biggest part of being an Aspergirl. Every moment of every day I try to control my sensory input. I won't go to shows unless I know I like the music. I've taken to wearing earbuds when I go to movies, as they're often too loud for me. I'm constantly turning up and down the TV so that it's "perfect". I can't stand the sound of dishes clanking together. On days when I'm having a really hard time getting out of the house for work, I wear really comfortable layers and hide within the softness in order to create a buffer with the outside world. I frequently feel as if I don't want to be "seen". I like to have music going at all times, but I have to choose the music and the volume level myself. If I could always have headphones on in public, I'd function a LOT better in social situations. The only time I feel empowered/capable is while listening to music. Often I am overwhelmed by emotions portrayed in pop culture and I can't continue watching something that upsets me, especially if an image upsets me, I'll experience it over and over again in my mind for hours after seeing it. I can also be intensely distracted by an aspect of someone's appearance on a show or movie I'd otherwise enjoy and have to stop watching. For example, I can barely look at Courtney Cox on Friends because I know how much she'll fuck up her face later. Even though she was beautiful on Friends and I love her character as Monica, I can barely look at her with flashes of her new alien face flashing in my head.  
  • attachment to animals and/or inanimate objects over people: I have NO problem bonding with animals and electronics, its people I have difficulty understanding.
  • being in "their own world": I am CONSTANTLY fighting this at work. I have to remind myself to do my job constantly, because it's very easy to daydream in reference.
  • can spend hours in a library researching: but the problem here is that I can only spend hours researching something I care about. If someone asks me to help them on their family history, forget about it. I don't fucking care and I have a hard time pretending I do.
  • unusual preoccupations
  • hard time saying "i love you" or showing affection: I have a very hard time with this. I assume that those I am close to know how much I care about them because I tolerate their presence. I am aware how this sounds, and I try to be more engaging, especially in my marriage, but it is a conscious effort.
  • need to withdraw into solitude frequently: I would prefer to spend about 75% of my time alone (with animals and internet connectivity with other humans).
  • attention narrowly focused on their own interests: I really only light up in a conversation when something interests me personally. I have a hard time remembering to ask what's going on with the person I'm speaking to. I tend to befriend people who entertain me, as well. If you bore me, I probably won't engage with you often.
  • shuts down in social situations: if I feel like I'm not in control or can't predict something in a social situation, I probably won't even be there, let alone engage. I will probably leave a situation immediately if I can't find a calm, comfortable, clean place to sit. Although, if I was allowed to supply the music, I could probably handle any environment/social atmosphere.
  • rigid social behavior due to inability to adapt to social spontaneity
  • has a compulsive need to inform which can come off as blunt/rude: This is very true. I have unintentionally hurt people MANY times with my bluntness. Often the reason I am mute in social interactions is because I'm attempting to censor/translate/sift my initial reactions. If I spoke what first came into my mind, I'd sound like Cordelia or Anya on Buffy or Sheldon from Big Bang Theory.
  • great difficulty with small-talk: I abhor bullshitting. I am incapable of it and I find you fake if you engage in it. I don't get it at all. One of the reasons I don't say "i love you" often is because I want to genuinely FEEL it at the moment I'm saying it. I feel the same about conversation. I don't want to say something unless it's genuine. My expectations, therefore, for what is "genuine" are extremely rigid.
  • can appear younger than age in dress, actions, etc: I never understand what people mean when they say a 40-year-old woman can't wear certain things. I don't agree with that at all. I wear the same clothes I did in middle school (sometimes literally the same exact articles of clothing). If I like it and fit into it, I'll wear it until it falls apart.
  • will not spend a lot of time grooming: My hair has to be no-maintenance. I only bathe every other day. I only wash my hair once or twice a week and only brush it once every two weeks or so. I don't spend much time looking in the mirror. As long as my zits don't need to be popped and my self/clothes are relatively clean, I'm good to go. 
  • androgynous (hates gender roles): This is a big one. I hate gendered expectations/roles. One of the reasons I'm obsessed with drag is because I like when people play with gender.
  • enjoys reading scifi/fantasy
  • may find employment daunting: It is a struggle almost every day for me to go to work. I accomplish it and have held down a job for 9 years, but it's only part time and I don't think I'd ever be able to handle full time work. 
  • highly intelligent, yet sometimes can be slow to comprehend due to sensory and cognitive processing issues. Will not do well with verbal instruction--needs to write down or draw diagram: there are several times at work where I will have to ask again and again the same questions about how to do something. I WILL NOT remember until I write it down.
  • due to sensory issues, can be overwhelmed by sex: it takes a LOT of emotional energy for me to have sex. It feels like a total body overtaking and it is a huge gesture of love for me to engage in sex. I feel like I will "never be enough" in this category. This is the #1 issue in my romantic relationships. All sensory stimuli have to be in perfect alignment for me to be "in the mood". It's very difficult for anyone attempting to have a romantic relationship with me. I feel a lot of guilt about this issue as well. 
  • words and actions often misunderstood by others: like all misfits, I feel misunderstood almost all the time
I already feel very exhausted by exposing all of this. I made a sort of Asperger's announcement on Facebook, but have gotten hardly any response. I guess people don't know what to say? Some close friends/family have said that I don't need a label and they don't think of me as different, but I don't really believe that. I think they're trying to be nice. I feel VERY at odds with people ALL the time. Surely I stand out, socially. I don't understand why they can't tell me the truth. But right now I feel like I DO need a label. I like having an explanation for why I am such a pariah. I really like connecting with people, but I don't want to do it in the way most people do. And I usually can't relate in the way others do. Sensory issues are always with me. Currently, I'm torn between how much of this Aspergian stuff I can work around, how much to use as excuses for things I've always thought I should "get over", like what's the line between acceptance and excuses? On the one hand, it's really great to feel more self-acceptance for all these things I've always thought were "problems" I had, but how do I know when to accept and when that acceptance becomes an excuse, if that makes sense.

Anyway, that's my freestyle rant on being an Aspergirl. I'm happy for the distinction, and I feel I am understanding myself, forgiving myself more than I've ever been able to do. This is a crux of change. This is a moment of precipice and what do I do now? I'm flailing madly between certain/uncertainty.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Superstar.

episode 73.
airdate: 4 Apr 2000.

This episode is fun and fluff, really. A nice break from Adam/Buffy/Riley dramadramadrama. A palette-cleanser after that whole Buffy/Faith debacle.

Jonathan, dweeb from high school, is the hero in an alternate universe. Even the credits are altered with clips of Jonathan kicking ass a bunch. This is a pretty cut and dry episode, really. Jonathan was always a little effed up (he almost killed himself in "Earshot") and underappreciated/beat up as a nerdy kid. So he does a spell to become the best of everything. He beats Buffy at slaying, beats Giles at chess, and is even a sexy musician. There's a James Bond-y theme and everything.

Spike calls Buffy "fluffy battle kitten" and "Betty". Everything else in the universe is intact, all the Adam/Initiative stuff is the same, etc, it's just Jonathan has been added and and everyone is unnaturally obsessed with him and a little less actualized than they normally are. Buffy is even dressing more juvenile and insecure-like with barrettes and weird fringey jackets.

Adam's the only one not fooled by the Jonathan spell. Tara gets chased by a beasty that was a side effect of Jonathan's spell. No magic without consequences and all that. I like Buffy with curly hair. She's kind of catching on. She calls a meeting at Giles', which is a first without Jonathan. He usually leads the meetings in this universe, apparently.

Jonathan and Buffy fight the demon together. Jonathan knows if the demon is destroyed the world will go back as it was, but he lets it happen, because he's essentially a good guy. He could have pushed her off a cliff, but he doesn't. She defeats the demon. Fluff episode endeth.

Commentary (by Jane Espenson) notes added 5.12.13: Little tidbit during the teaser: Anya didn't react when Xander said "bunnies". One thing that is kind of cool about the writers and directors talking about little hitches in their writing is that I see how all of this came together. With pitfalls and multiple writers and little inputs from actors, etc. It took a village to make Buffy, it really did. So, that (a bit) takes the pressure off me when I start writing fiction, which may still be a long way off. I have NO IDEA how to go about it yet, but I'm hearing these writers say they knew they had to get Buffy mad at Dawn in an episode, and then had to write the circumstances for how. Everything in plot seems to begin as a skeleton that later gets muscle and flesh. Edit, edit, edit. That's cool, I think. To see the process and know that perhaps fiction isn't as far out of my grasp as I believe it to be. If only I had begun this process before the age of 30. Perhaps I would have if 2005 and 2011 hadn't happened. Perhaps I would be where I am now at 27 instead of 30. Or even earlier 20s if I hadn't spent soooo many years trying to be a "good girlfriend" to several unworthy men. They weren't unworthy in general, but all people are unworthy of your full attention at all times. Anyway, back to commentary notes.

Except, I'm at the end now and have had nothing to say so far. It wasn't a boring commentary, but just not one I want to comment upon. 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Who Are You?

Episode 72.
airdate: 29 Feb 2000.

This episode is going to be difficult to write about, because it's SUCH a phenomenal display of television writing and really demonstrates Sarah Michelle Gellar's prowess as an actress. Joss Whedon really outdid himself with the themes/concept of what it would be like psychologically for these two women to switch bodies. Buffy gets to see what it feels like to be treated like a psychotic "bitch" and Faith is forever changed after being treated like a trusted "good" girl. Each could stand to be more like the other. It's not healthy to be as black and white as these two women are in comparison to one another. I'm getting ahead of myself, but this is probably one of my top ten favorite Buffy episodes, so I'm worried I won't do it justice.


I don't really understand what the Mayor was doing, I mean I guess he was giving Faith a fresh start by making it possible for her to get inside Buffy's body.

Willow finally explains to Tara that the reason she's keeping her a secret from her friends is because she likes having something that's just "mine". Tara says, "I am, you know...yours." Eeeeeeeee! Love that moment.

Ok, I need to get out of the way how I will speak of Faith and Buffy in this episode. I once saw an academic paper do it this way, so I will follow suit: when I'm speaking about Faith IN Buffy's body I will write FIB. When I speak of Buffy in Faith's body, BIF.

So, after being all weird with Joyce for a bit, FIB takes a bath, makes faces at herself in the mirror to get used to her new body, eeks as much cleavage as she can with Buffy's small cups, steals her passport, and books a flight with Joyce's credit card. Joyce gets a call from Giles to meet up at his place and FIB decides to go before she skips town.

Meanwhile, the police have BIF, but the Watcher's Council steal her from the cop car and take her into THEIR custody instead. They're planning to take her back to England to deal with her in Council territory. FIB meets Spike for the first time. She begins the episode declaring things "wrong" with sarcasm, but ends it with conviction, which is a nice nuance.

BIF gets her face spit into, bet that's never happened to Buffy before. Willow and Tara run into FIB at The Bronze. First time Tara's ever met Buffy, though you know, not really. She's mean to Tara. Willow notices a vampire, points him out to FIB, therefore FIB is obligated to kill him. When she does, the girl the vampire was feeding upon thanks her genuinely...this is a moment for FIB. She's not used to being thanked.

When Tara and Willow are alone, Tara explains, though she'd never met Buffy before tonight, that Buffy wasn't Buffy. "A person's energy has a flow, a unity. Buffy's was fragmented, grated, like something forced in where it doesn't belong." FIB goes to see Riley. She acts real weird asking him what he "wants to do to this body" etc and Riley stops her from the raw fucking thing and makes looooooove to her instead, so this is another pivotal moment for Faith. Tara and Willow are doing a sexy spell, as per usual. FIB sort of freaks after sex with Riley. He tells her he loves her and sticks around as she freaks out. She wanted to run, but she allows herself to be comforted by Riley.

Adam makes a speech, but I wasn't paying attention; thinking about the ramifications of someone having sex with your bf while in your body. That's pretty heavy, man. BIF is fighting the Council dudes and escaping in a big truck. FIB is at the airport.

I want to talk about clothing symbolism for a sec. When FIB first dressed after her bath at Joyce's, she put on leather pants and a black tank top. After her evening with Riley, she put on HIS shirt when she left his house in the morning. At the airport she's wearing light blues and a flowery skirt. She's obviously changing. I always notice clothing symbolism. I know it's such a simple thing, but I really like the effort.

BIF gets back into town and visits Giles, convincing him (eventually) that she is Buffy. Dushku isn't as good as Gellar, but she's not bad. The scene is really endearing (I'm trying not to say cute as much) between former Watcher and Slayer. Willow and Tara show up explaining the whole sitch after their sexy spell. They've conjured a remedy and Tara is introduced to the real Buffy, still BIF of course. So now they just need to find FIB and switch back bodies. They find out, both FIB and BIF via news broadcast, that some vampires are holding a church-full of people hostage. They both go to save the day, FIB leaving the airport (and her escape) to do so. Virtue! FIB is acting a lot like the real Buffy now. BIF shows too as FIB is kicking ass.

They're now face to face, kicking each other's asses, as per usual. FIB starts deconstructing, beating herself up and calling herself disgusting. BIF switches them back and Faith runs. Buffy realizes Riley had sex with Faith. Buffy is hurt, but she looks contemplative. She understands where Faith is for the first time, even empathizes with her.

Faith's redemption has begun. So exciting! I love her story arc.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: This Year's Girl.

episode 71.
airdate: 22 Feb 2000.

Episode opens with Buffy and Faith making Buffy's bed in the old house talking all cryptic, obviously a dream. "With little sis' coming." Cut to Faith still in the coma, then lightning...ooh, ya scared?

They're all still hanging/hiding out in Xander's basement. RileyBFF (can't remember his name) is lecturing Riley on staying together with the "family"/military. Faith is dreaming about hanging out with the Mayor and Buffy killing the Mayor then coming after her. Turns out she's been in a nightmare loop, Buffy stabbing her over and over again. Yeesh. Finally, she closes the loop and bests Buffy, and that's when she wakes up. Riley also escapes from his hospital situation. Riley is still all existential, of course. Buffy tells Riley about how she quit the Council once upon a time. She's weird when she's all nice and counsel-y. I don't like sweet and sugar Buffy.

Faith has to deal with what's happened since she's been asleep; mainly the high school being all crispy. She spies on the gang at Giles' house. She sees Buffy all cuddly with Riley, and that pisses her off (rightfully so) because the whole reason Buffy stabbed Faith effectively putting her in the coma was to save Angel, who she's no longer, obviously, with. She also sees someone calling Buffy to tell her that Faith is awake. The next morning Faith shows up on campus for an ass-kicking.

Willow's contribution? hits her with a backpack and calls her a bitch. Spike is snarky and cute, as always. "Can't any one of you Scooby Club try to remember that I HATE you all?"

The Mayor has left a VHS tape for Faith to view along with some weird metal device. He really did care about her, though he tells her there won't be a place in the world for her anymore after she awakens, whatever that means. There's someone Buffy's not protecting...her mother. But she does theatrically jump through the second-floor window, somehow. Destruction of Joyce's house, again. Take the fight outside, girls, come ON! Faith deploys mysterious device the Mayor gave her. Mom/Joyce comes into the room after the cops show up and "Faith" is knocked out on the floor. She asks her daughter if she's ok and "Buffy" says, "Five by five."


Commentary (by Doug Petrie) notes added 5.15.13: Hit my ten minute limit and haven't written a thing, so onto the next episode.


LIVE THROUGH THIS. THIS IS A CALL TO ARMS, LGBT EDITION: I want to do a mental health-themed zine. One of the things that shouldn't be something we have to cope/deal/come to terms with, is being gay, lesbian, transgendered, asexual and bisexual, but in our still close-minded society, we unfortunately, do. I would love to have some stories/insight/thoughts from close friends/family that are out.

Any input in any form (drawings, maps, rants, poetry, ANYTHING from any perspective/place in the process) would be greatly appreciated. I will use your content for my zine, but you can be anonymous or use an alias should you feel more comfortable disclosing under invisibility cloak. Below are some questions. You can choose to answer these questions directly to use as an interview in the zine (only answer those you're comfortable answering, of course, and feel free to reword/add questions as ye see fit), or just use them as a jumping-off point for anything you want to say. 

I want to have this zine out on the Summer Solstice so your deadline to submit content is JUNE 13 and submissions can be sent via email: mixtressrae@yahoo.com

Please consider sharing your experience with others even if all you do is spend ten minutes replying to this blog with a random thought or two. 

Thank you SO much in advance,


When did you know you were gay/lesbian/transgendered/bisexual/asexual?

What was the process of accepting yourself like? 

How did you overcome the hurdles our society throws at people that are "different"?

When did you "come out"?

Who did you tell first?

Was it a big revealing, did you come out slowly, or have you chosen to make it a non-issue and just not bring up your sexuality to others?

How did your family/close friends react?

What do you wish the general population would realize about the LGBT community?

What advice would you have for someone who wants to come out/recently came out?


LIVE THROUGH THIS. THIS IS A CALL TO ARMS: I want to do a mental health-themed zine. Talk about how people with diagnoses, depression, coping/sensory issues, Post Traumatic Stress (a LOT of us in Joplin are still dealing with this), etc deal in life. I would love to have some stories/insight/thoughts from close friends/family that I know have found/are in the process of finding ways to live in this world.

Any input in any form (drawings, maps, rants, poetry, ANYTHING from any perspective/place in the process) would be greatly appreciated. I will use your content for my zine, but you can be anonymous or use an alias should you feel more comfortable disclosing under invisibility cloak. Below are some questions (most of them center around the word "diagnosis", which I am using as a stand-in for any issues of depression, coping, PTSD, etc). You can choose to answer these questions directly for me to use as an interview in the zine (only answer those you're comfortable answering, of course, and feel free to reword/add questions as ye see fit), or just use them as a jumping-off point for anything you want to say.

I want to have this zine out on the Summer Solstice so your deadline to submit content is JUNE 13 and submissions can be sent via email: mixtressrae@yahoo.com

Please consider sharing your experience with others even if all you do is spend ten minutes replying to this blog with a random thought or two.

Thank you SO much in advance,


Do you have a diagnosis (self or formal)? What is this diagnosis?

Do you find strength in your diagnosis? Do you disregard your diagnosis?

How have you come to define your diagnosis?

How have you learned to work around discomfort surrounding symptoms of your diagnosis?

How does it feel on your worst days?

How does it feel on your best days?

How have your loved ones responded to your diagnosis?

What do you wish the general public understood about you/people under similar circumstances?

What advice have you for others under similar circumstances?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Originally posted in Current, Etc publication last issue (well CURRENT issue until Thursday):


During the month of February I undertook a sort-of music boot camp. Each week, I had a particular way of enjoying music that I confined myself within for the entire 168 hours of that week's regular listening periods. I endeavor to tell you in a four part series my results for each week here in these Current, Etc pages. I do not promise these four parts will be in sequential order, or even in a row, depending on how pressing future music topics will be, but for today I'll share with you my rediscovery of THE ALBUM.

Listening to an album in order, in one sitting, is becoming a lost art. I recently realized I don’t know music I’ve discovered/downloaded in the last five years as albums. I know it as songs floating in and out of shuffles/mixes. Conversely, I don't think artists conceive of their music in album form as often as was done in the '70s-'90s.

The album has had a relatively short shelf-life in the grand scheme of music, if you consider The Beatles' Revolver (1966) as the birth of the album (and lots of rock critics do). THE ALBUM being a collection of songs with a conceptually-thematic atmosphere that lures you into an aural landscape for approximately three quarters of an hour, transfixed. Ultimately, I discovered that while the album did have a short run and many albums are very important to me, it’s really always been fragmented. We pick and choose the songs we love, the sides we pick up the needle for again and again. The attention span of a human does not normally last 45 minutes. For an album to make it into your pantheon of things to sit still for, it has to be spectacular! It is rare that an album makes it, without the need to skip, replay, multitask. ALBUMweek made me realize I hardly ever quiet my mind enough to experience music as its divine creators intended.

In undergoing this project, I wanted to recapture the feeling of letting my self dissolve into the sound of the album (I've been on shuffle for too many years). I felt like I did restore something deep within the earth of my mind. I defiantly reclaimed the ability to pay attention to music. Picture a woman wearing ridiculous plaid pants sitting cross-legged in a papasan chair clutching a vinyl sleeve whilst gazing wistfully into the middle-distance. This was me the entire first week of February and here are ten of the best albums repossessed during my love affair with THE ALBUM:

The Cure/Seventeen Seconds
Marilyn Manson/Antichrist Superstar
Nine Inch Nails/The Downward Spiral
Brian Eno/Before and After Science
Cibo Matto/Viva! La Woman
Fiona Apple/When The Pawn...
Veruca Salt/American Thighs
Talking Heads/77
Yeah Yeah Yeahs/Fever To Tell

What are your favorite albums? Email me: mixtressrae@yahoo.com

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Goodbye Iowa.

Episode 70.
airdate: 15 Feb 2000.

Episode opens with Buffy telling everyone what's going on with the Initiative. Riley barges into Giles' house. Riley recognizes Spike as "Hostile 17". Riley thinks "there must be some explanation". It takes some convincing, and Riley eventually goes off on his own because his whole world has been compromised, poor thing. He's such a bad match for Buffy because he hasn't been through anything bad in his whole corn-fed life. This episode is pretty much the waking up/reality of Riley. Poor dear wandering listlessly through the cemetery. Or was that a dark campus? Regardless, he's brooding. The gang is all hiding out at Xander's, which is super cute, 'cause they're all watching cartoons together in their jammies and Giles is sleeping in a bean bag chair. Buffy makes a rousing speech in her "yummy sushi" pajamas, which is also super cute.

Ok, I guess Riley hasn't quit the Initiative. He's still uncertain, especially when he finds out Walsh is dead. He is still pretty loyal, however, when his BFF suggests Buffy killed Walsh. Self-righteous Buffy speech, probably her first to Riley. Willow is already getting into spells that Tara doesn't think they're ready for. Joss knew what he was doing two years ahead of time. I can't imagine that kind of narrative foresight. Perhaps one day I'll get there. I need to get back into writing my novel. That sounds so pretentious, "my novel". Riley is getting mean. Cracked out. His moral compass is all out of whack and he's very distressed. All shaky and shit, questioning everything. Feverish. Poor little soldier.

Willow and Tara are doing sexy demon-finding spells. Tara foils the spell, unbeknownst to Willow. Xander and Buffy go into the Initiative undercover, which is funny because Buffy obviously looks like Buffy. Riley wakes up after fitful fever-crack sleep and pushing Willow down to get past her. Buffy is simultaneously overhearing the Initiative bigwigs talking about how the boys were getting meds in their food, including Riley, so he's essentially going through withdrawals. Buffy confronts bigwig scientist guy as Riley shows up. He accuses Buffy of doing something to Walsh and then Adam shows up with a little existential monologue. He's part robot, man, and machine. Cool. Riley has been programmed by Walsh, apparently. Though at this point we don't know what that means, whether it's metaphor or something more tangible. Adam beats everyone up and leaves. Initiative dudes come in and take Riley away to a "military hospital" and Buffy isn't allowed to follow. Spike is getting beat up at the demon bar because the demons know he's been fighting them lately. Poor Spikey doesn't live in either world.

And I suppose Spike's journey is a parallel to Riley's? I never thought about that. This whole season is everyone being out of place, transitioning, reestablishing their belief systems and where they fit in adult life. Adam is even questioning where he fits as he's man, machine, and demon. Who will accept him? Who is he? The Existential Big Bad. Clever.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The I In Team.

episode 69.
airdate: 8 Feb 2000
Anya's the cutest. "I choose to feel threatened." Love the tactless babes Xander dates. I would like to be one if I lived in the Buffyverse, which of course is what I think we can all agree heaven will be like. I choose to believe in heaven only within the context of heaven as Sunnydale, California. Is that so wrong?

Oh, geez, Buffy is going into the Initiative underground...ooooooooh. Who's ready for season 5? I don't hate 4 as much as some people do, but the awkwardness of life transitions and Buffy trying to go to college and all that kerfuffle is just tiresome, as Giles would say. Willow is hiding Tara all for herself. Adam is revealed for the first time: "almost ready to wake up". It's breaking my heart to see Willow feel left-out. and Giles. and Xander. I GET IT! The Initiative and college are metaphors for adult relationships taking you away from your friends, maybe?

I love how unruly Buffy is with the Initiative dudes. This is Willow's best fashion time. All colorful and sweatery. Cute. Ness. Oh no, they've installed a tracking device on Hostile 17 aka Spike. Why didn't they do that when they first captured him? Time for Riley and Buffy to do it to the smooth sounds of Delerium after a good rousing fight. Ew, she put his big meaty finger in her mouth. Gross. And Professor Walsh is watching them...Double Gross!

Spike goes to Giles for help after being shot with the tracker device. I do enjoy watching Spike being integrated into the group slowly, fitfully, and reluctantly. Giles agrees to remove the device after monetary compensation.

Riley is called away from the coital bed for a secret mission. Professor Walsh mentions a "contingency scenario" to a cohort whilst in conversation about Buffy, then she is beeped and sent off on a solo mission for Walsh to find a "Class 3 subterrestrial". She quickly realizes its a trap. Her weapon given her by Walsh triggers a cell door and she's attacked by three beasties Buffy earlier saw in the Initiative Underground. Buffy has also been outfitted with visual and audio that feeds back to Walsh along with her vital information. As Buffy's heartrate flatlines, Walsh is watching, of course. She looks a little remorseful and guilty, but this is the definitive moment that you KNOW FOR A FACT that Walsh is a Big Bad. Cut to Giles removing the tracer at last, then back to Buffy who is not dead. Duh. Walsh tells Riley Buffy is dead. As she's telling him, she shows up on the screen behind her head "if you think that's enough to kill me, you really don't know what a Slayer is..." Du nu du nu du nuh! Riley storms off, effectively quitting the Initiative. Buffy tells the gang "it's not safe for any of us". Such a drama queen.

Episode ends with Adam waking up and killing Walsh: "Mommy?"

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: A New Man.

episode 68.
airdate: 25 January 2000.

Ew, Riley and Buffy are making out. It's Buffy's birthday episode and Giles wakes up a demon after hanging out with the no-good Ethan Rayne. Duh, Giles, what were you thinking?

The theme here is that Giles feels out of place in this new world and doesn't have a job currently. Everyone keeps bringing him cake. Ooooh, Buffy says Professor Walsh is the "smartest person" she's ever met. Spike is a "new man" too as he's moving out of Xander's basement into his own crypt.

I knew the moment Professor Walsh was mean to Giles that she was no good. I can completely understand why Giles was driven to drinking with Rayne after the day he had. They used to be friends.

Riley is, surprise surprise, having a hard time accepting that Buffy is stronger than him and has fought a lot more nasties than he has.

I love Tara's room: black walls, red carpet, white Christmas lights, and lots of texture. You just KNOW she burns incense all the time. Willow and Tara doin' sexy spells version 2.0...

Giles doesn't even wake up as the demon until 21 minutes into the episode. Poor thing crushes the phone when he picks it up and rips his jacket and the door off the hinges. Riley tries to "pull rank" on Buffy and say she can't come along when the military get involved in helping find Giles. Of course she doesn't take that crap. He's going to learn real quick how things are with bossy Buffy.

When they find Giles as Fyarl demon, of course Buffy thinks the demon was the one that hurt/kidnapped Giles, so she fights him. But eventually she sees in his eyes that it's Giles. So sweet. Then the episode ends with a rebonding conversation between Buffy and Giles while Riley is having a simultaneous conversation with Walsh about basically the same thing (both Giles and Walsh are warning their progenies about the other.

Then, BUM BUM BUMMMM! Room 314. Walsh goes in. What's in there?!?!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Doomed.

Episode 67.
airdate: 18 January 2000.

Buffy and Riley explain their situations to one another. Riley has a hard time believing that a tiny girl is a slayer of things, because he's kind of a misogynist. He tries to be all covert and tell Buffy he can't tell her what he is, but then she totally calls him on everything ("You're part of some demon monster squad..."). Riley hasn't even heard of a Slayer. Probably not a mistake that the episode that Riley and Buffy come out to each other and sort of officially start their relationship is called "Doomed" eh, Joss? Oooh, I am sooo observant. 

I love when Xander says to Spike, "You earn your keep or you don't get kept!" I want to say that to someone sometime, like for example, Pele (she's my cat). She'd just glare at me, but it'd still be fun.

One of my only regrets in life is that I didn't have the dorm/college experience. Perhaps I would have overcome some of my more problematic social dysfunctions had I been forced to live and go to school in close proximity to other human beings my own age. Boo hoo though, it didn't happen.

Apocalypse, as per usual.

Buffy is trying so hard to walk away from a complicated relationship because she hasn't yet realized that every relationship will be complicated, especially if you're a freakin' vampire slayer! Come on, Buffy! Your insistence on achieving normalcy is just unrealistic. Poor Spikey tried to kill himself. 

Riley actually has a point about Buffy having the wrong "doom and gloom" attitude, but I suppose it makes sense given what she's gone through. Ooh, he just called her self-involved! Snap! He's very perceptive. Giles just got beat up. The demons are going to open the Hellmouth so they have to go back to high school. Oh yeah, I suppose the theme here is living in the past stuff. Buffy can't get past old relationship stuff to move onto Riley, Willow was called a geek by Percy, Spike can't get past being a neutered vampire, and Xander, well Spike pointed out that he's living in his mother's basement, but he didn't seem to be overly worried about that before Spike suggested it. So Riley is the voice of reason here, apparently. Don't have a "doom and gloom" attitude and move on from your past.

Spike realizes in this episode that he can beat up demons, so he regains the will to live with violence back in his life. Yeay, Spikey.

Riley and Buffy save the day. He's out to the whole gang now. In case you were wondering what happens with Riley and Buffy, they kiss and they're going to start a relationship and shit. Spike makes a cute speech to Xander and Willow about fighting demons and killing things and "evil afoot" and stuff. It's the new era of Spike. Super exciting stuff.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Hush.

An episode walk-thru (with spoilers and snarky commentary) of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Episode 66, Season 4: "Hush"
airdate: 14 December 1999.

It's been so long since I've done one of these. Of course, this is a legendary episode, so that means I've been avoiding it. Always thinking I really have nothing to say...which is ironic because this is the episode wherein no one CAN say anything. I'm sitting very close to the TV in my bedroom and you can really tell this show was shot before the times of high-def over-intensity. Plus, this show was filmed so dark. Typical Whedon stuff; at the beginning of the episode everyone is at a loss for words, not communicating well, etc.

I think this is the introduction to Tara. She's so cute. Blond zig-zaggy part and sweet smile.

Yeah, Giles is getting some! I like that Joss started showing Giles' full life after everyone got out of high school and didn't shy away from the more adult aspects of it. The appearance of his "orgasm friend" always made me happy to know that Giles maybe had a "Like Crazy" love from overseas that he sacrificed in order to help Buffy in America and fight the good fight and all that.

The moment where Willow and Buffy realize they can't speak when the music comes in still gives me chills. And it's remarkable how believable it is that they're really trying to speak and can't. I wonder if they filmed it with them actually speaking and then removed the sound in editing. And you can tell everything they're trying to say too. So cool. And then Xander calls Buffy before, duh, he remembers he can't talk, which is the whole reason he was calling her. That would totally happen. Before the era of the text. Hard to believe that this episode aired over 13 years ago. Ok, I just cried. WTF. I cried when Giles put his arm around Willow after she wrote "Hi Giles" on her little message board. What is that about?

Riley and Buffy's first kiss. Whatever. The Gentlemen really are super silent movie glide-y creepy. Love it! Is that Eric from "That '70s Show"? No. Buffy's just walking around campus with a freakin' crossbow. Buffy and Riley are fighting alongside one another. So many questions. Again, whatever. Much more interested in Tara and Willow. Or Xander and Anya. Or Giles and Olivia. Poor Spikey is the only one all alone in this episode. "Hush" doesn't seem quite as innovative today, but back in 1999 television was still on the cusp of becoming great, but was actually still pretty formulaic. I'm sure this, along with several other groundbreaking Buffy episodes, was pretty influential for a lot of the great TV shows of the present...

Commentary (by Joss Whedon) notes added 5.15.13: Joss wrote this episode because he felt like he was getting stale as a director. He's telling the tale that with this episode, and with "Restless" and witch "Once More, With Feeling"...each time he felt like he couldn't do it and no one would get it and everyone would be bored and it was impossible, etc. And this and those other two episodes mentioned are among my top five...indeed they are THE first three I'll (and most other fans) will mention when asked my favorite Buffy episodes, not that anyone ever asks (I wish!). That is encouraging to me to know that he felt it was impossible, but he did it and it was awesome.

The theme here is that once you stop talking, you start communicating. Sometimes language gets in the way when you're trying to convey things to other humans. Xander can't tell Anya how he feels about her as she wishes. Buffy can't kiss Riley because they're nervously talking too much. Giles just wishes everyone will shut up. The Wicca group misusing the word "empowering".  The image of the Gentlemen floating towards the boy in the bed came from a dream of Joss'.

Sometimes when you shut up, you learn more about yourself and others than you expected to.

Movie Analysis Final Thoughts.

Here's the top five with their final scores:

1. High Fidelity: 46

2. Empire Records: 40.875

3. The Matrix: 40.33

4. Best In Show: 39

5. The Breakfast Club: 37.43

I would NOT have thought I liked "The Matrix" as much as I, evidently, do. Now that I'm thinking on new movies I have loved, I'd like to rate "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" and "Like Crazy" as well, but I'll save that for another time and update this list as needed. I'm also surprised "Clueless" didn't make the top five. I might need to make sure that one got top points for replayability. I may have scored it incorrectly. Of course, all of these are subject to how I was feeling as I watched them. And my memories of watching them in the past. I need some more time with drag movies as well, as I'm sure one of them needs to be on this list as well. I should have rated "The Birdcage", but there are some serious flaws in that film, although I love it tremendously anyway. It would have rated low, but I still will watch it anytime, anywhere.

Ok, well that's that. I started this project many months ago. Check out the remaining 8 movies below and how they rate. I also watched "Carrie" and "The Crow", but disqualified them both. I don't even think I have a blog entry on "The Crow". I'm too lazy and tipsy to check right now, so I'm done.

6. Napoleon Dynamite: 36

7. Clueless: 35.67

8. Moulin Rouge: 35.6

9. The Big Lebowski: 34

10. Bridesmaids: 33

11. Young Adult: 33

12. Mallrats: 31.14

13. Real Genius: 29.2

Friday, March 1, 2013

Young Adult (2011).

replayability: 6
dialogue: 6
music: 6
ambience: 7
characters: 8

I only have 10% battery so I'm going to blog until the computer dies. LIVIN' ON THE EDGE! I need a drink. Why am I not drinking yet during a blog/movie marathon? That's crazy. Hold on...

I knew when I first saw the DVD menu sequence that this movie was for me. The colorful cassette, the dirty stereo buttons, the grungy fingernails. I'm all over it. Charlize Theron is an amazing actress. I respect her a lot. This movie really makes me feel better about not being a typically pretty girl, getting to see Charlize tear off latex pasties, put hairpieces and fake lashes and tons of foundation on her face is encouraging to someone that doesn't do much beauty maintenance at all and looks ok. If I spent as much time getting ready as this chick, I might be fuckin' smokin', too! It could happen...

Like Jenna Marbles, the YouTube star? Out of makeup, she looks sort of nerdy and sweet, but then you get her in the wing-tipped liquid liner, the lashes and the foundation, and she's breathtaking. Beauty is an effort, as we've seen with drag queens. I recently saw a picture of a friend of mine in pasties. I was not only inspired by her ballsiness posting that on the internet, but it was also encouraging to see that her breasts were less-than-perfect and not as large as normally advertised. You can have cleavage no matter how small your breasts are. How cool is that? I used to be against artifice in physical appearance and I'm still not really ok with plastic surgery, but really, if whatever you're doing makes you feel sexy (fake hair, water bra, three pairs of false eyelashes), then do it! I'm flirting with the idea of extreme cleavage, myself. And I'm warming up to false eyelashes and heels. So off topic and I'm at 4% now, too.

It's sort of redundant posting about these movies because I'm only analyzing the ones that are on my top 20 list. Every sentence begins with "I love how..."

Ok, switched to the iPad so you don't have to worry about my battery percentage anymore, 'cause I know you were just biting your nails about it. Several people commented in reviews on this movie that Patton Oswalt basically plays himself, bla bla bla. And perhaps he is, but Patton Oswalt is awesome. It's ok to be a character actor. You don't have to be super versatile. Being super versatile is also a great trait in an actor, but being Patton Oswalt works for him. Babies ARE boring. Thanks for saying that, Charlize. I'm sure babies aren't boring to breeders, and I know and love a lot of breeders AND babies. I love my niece and my nephew and my Bella, but that's probably all the baby-love I've got in me.

Another woman in a life-crisis story. I love self-destruction, she says as she sucks down another swig of cranberry-vodka. I don't ever really remember caring in high school whether or not I was popular, but I still get sick satisfaction out of seeing stories wherein the popular girls and boys are total fuckups as adults. Only in fiction, though. I would honestly feel empathy for almost any of the popular kids from my own high school I saw heading down a dark, sad road. I'd still have a small smirk hidden in my empathy, but just a small one, really.

That's hearbreaking to realize that the song you thought was "your song" with someone is their song with someone else too, or that they associate it with that other person exclusively and not with you. But this is how music is...what I considered a love song at 18 I consider a love song now, for the most part. "Apart" breaks your heart just as much during the third big breakup of your life as it did the first.

I can't even imagine what it must have been like for the popular kids back in school. Was it like being famous? Is real life difficult after being the famous of popularity? I mean, how do you turn out without all that pain and angst in your formative years? I dated a former athletic popular kid once and he was kind of like Charlize in this movie. An addict, uncertain, weird, still thinking of himself as this invincible creature. I wonder if many former-popular people suffer from a distorted sense of reality.

There's NO WAY her freakin' car works after all this time! And there's also no way her room is still the same. I mean, does this really happen, ever? That people's childhood bedrooms are kept as a time capsule? For some reason, this movie makes me want to be stylish and pretend to be ok even when I'm not. Perhaps I'll have a breakdown like Kristen or Charlize. This is my mental health year, goddamnit, and I deserve to ruin a civilized garden party too!

Bridesmaids (2011).

replayability: 7
characters: 8
music: 6
dialogue: 6
ambience: 6

Last movie on my list of favorites...well, unless I count "Young Adult". Why not, right? Ok, not the last movie, but I want to finish this project tonight, so apparently I'm watching two movies. Gather up your cranberry-vodka cocktails, ladies, and let's DO THIS.

I happen to, for some reason, own this movie on BluRay and my mom has a BluRay player, so I'm watching this in highdef even though it's not Planet Earth, so why, but that's another rant entirely that can actually be summed up by saying that I don't really see the point in BluRay unless it's nature. Normally I don't want to see pores, but individual blades of grass? Yes, please.

Maybe pores are ok now that I'm watching this, because it makes the actors look like real people. It's not as scary as seeing the local newscasters' pores. I mean, just skip Gary Bandy in highdef, God love him. This looks amazing, actually. Oh no, I can feel myself getting spoiled by this crispness just like I did with the "Retina" display on my iPhone. Damn pixel density!

It's so nice to see a real reaction from a BFF when the other gets engaged, instead of just squealing and jumping and immediate planning and scheming and more squealing. I love that she's driving a super-old Toyota too. It reminds me of my first car, a 1984 Honda Civic named Shirley. Melissa McCarthy is so spectacular. She really is. I can't imagine this world of fancy engagement parties and country clubs. I would feel just as out of place as Kristen Wiig. The joke with the dueling speeches at the engagement party runs a little long, though. This may not make the list, because I just don't know it well enough. I was blown away by this movie when I first saw it because it's a film about female friendships and weirdness and awkward humor. I was worried it would be a "Hangover" for girls, but it's so much better than that. The love interest is charming and their interactions are believable. The crux of the movie is the believable interactions between all the characters, besides that they're all super funny in a way that people usually aren't. I love that almost an entire Fiona Apple song is played while Wiig makes herself one perfect cupcake. OMG, I want a cupcake...even a sad cupcake.

Such a great touch that everyone really looks terrifyingly awful as they're sick at the dress place. It's so gross. And hilarious, though I usually don't do poop humor. They don't go to the reallyreally gross visual place, like a "hangover"-type movie would. It's more about their faces and how they feel as they're getting sick, which I find classy. A classy poop joke. I'm into that.

I still find it so weird that weddings are such a big deal. I tried not to make a big deal out of mine, but I still think I made too big a deal out of it. If I could do it over, I'd have less people there and think about it way less and make sure there was video footage of the reception, because Lord knows I don't remember a THING.

How perfect is Melissa McCarthy's speech to Kristen on the couch? So perfect. Inspirational, really. I would recommend this movie to anyone going through a hard time. Pick-me-up kinda movie.

I don't understand why Maya has to leave her apartment. They kind of dropped the ball on the fiance front. He's not there really, ever, and they don't already live together...what's that about? Don't freakin' marry someone you don't already live with, ok? That's crazy talk. I'm docking a point for that. I don't really dread any point in this movie except for the part when Kristen is mean to Love Interest Guy the morning-after. I usually have trigger-moments during movies that I have to skip or leave the room during, but "Bridesmaids" has a really great collection of wonderful moments. Very great movie overall.

There ain't nothin' wrong with a movie that ends with Wilson Philips' "Hold On". Nothin'.